written to entertain my American friends in Freiburg's sister city Madison, WI, with odd stories
from Freiburg, Germany, and tales about my travels.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Red Baron likes to learn new words. Today I read in the Badische Zeitung about Manspreading (with a capital M). The New York Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) is using posters to fight against the bad habit of men occupying too much space on subway seats by spreading their legs. There is however a compelling argument frequently brought forward and hardened in many scientific publications: Keep it cool man, your fertility. The MTA is mistaken: manspreading is not a space but a cooling issue or rather a cool issue.
How to translate manspreading into German? Mind you neither Mannausbreitung (that sounds like spreading measles) nor Mannspreizung (a medieval method of torture?) sounds right in German so I expect that "Manspreading" will become one of those words we will import from the States.
When looking through other MTA posters I learned another word: primping. Here we have a nearly perfect German equivalent at our disposal: aufhübschen. As far as clipping is concerned we do not clip our nails in Freiburg's streetcars but cut them in the solitude of our bathrooms. Mind you, although I hate them I keep one of those clippers in my hand luggage for scissors are always confiscated at airports.